When most people think of gun owners, they think of two categories of people (usually of the male persuasion) – hunters and criminals. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Not only do gun owners fall into several more categories, but it’s not only men who are picking up arms.
New studies show that more women than ever before are learning how to shoot. Currently, 22% of women in the United States are gun owners. In the last few decades, that figure has only reached between 9% and 14%.
The question is, should you consider owning a gun as a woman?
We’re here to help you answer this question. Keep reading for everything you need to know about the benefits of learning how to shoot and why women should consider owning and even carrying firearms.
1. Personal Defense
Women often learn how to shoot because they want to be able to protect themselves. Carrying a firearm (and knowing how to use it) could very well save your life or prevent an assault. But are firearms really necessary?
The horrifying sexual harassment and assault statistics are some of the most compelling arguments in support of carrying firearms for women. An in-depth study shows that a staggering 81% of women have been sexually harassed in some way.
Based on this study, 51% of women have been sexually touched without permission and 27% have been sexually assaulted. Perhaps the most shocking detail about these experiences is that the majority of them took place in public places.
Sadly, women have been targeted by men for thousands of years. Though all of the acts listed above are illegal, you can see that the law hardly provides adequate protection for women against men who seek to do them harm.
Carrying a Firearm for Self-Defense
There are multiple weapons and tools women can use for self-defense. Some non-lethal examples include:
- Mace (pepper spray)
- Tazer/stun gun
While these tools can be effective, they may not offer enough protection. Aside from mace, all of these weapons require extremely close contact. More importantly, things like tasers and knives can easily be taken away from women by a stronger aggressor.
Firearms owned by women, on the other hand, can be drawn at a distance. This provides a warning that leaves nothing unsaid. Furthermore, because a firearm can be drawn and used from a distance, there is less of a chance that the aggressor will get close enough to take it away.
In most cases, drawing a self-defense firearm will be enough to deter most would-be assaulters. If not, it’s important to learn how to shoot accurately and effectively to stop an assault. As long as you have a concealed carry license, you are fully within your rights to defend yourself against an attacker using a gun.
2. Home Defense
One of the biggest benefits of learning how to shoot is that you’ll feel safer in your home. Did you know that there are over 2.5 million break-ins in the US every year?
More than half of these are home invasions. And some intruders have more than theft on their minds.
If you live alone or your partner works late hours, nights can be stressful. You’ll sleep better at night and be able to protect yourself, your home, and your family better if you have a firearm by your side.
Types of Weapons for Home Defense
We recommend exploring multiple home-defense firearms. For example, a handgun is excellent for tight spaces, but a shotgun can be a more effective deterrent.
The sound of a cartridge being pumped into a shotgun is unmistakable. It will make most intruders think twice about their intentions.
Additionally, birdshot and buckshot spread when fired, which makes it much easier to hit your target without aiming. This is ideal for home defense, particularly at night when visibility is lower.
We recommend adding attachments to your home defense weapons that will help you in real-life situations. This includes a flashlight, which will help you see the intruder while impairing their vision. It might also be a good idea to attach a laser sight, which will make it easy to simply point and shoot, rather than aiming down the sights.
3. Empowerment of Self and Others
If you haven’t personally shot a gun before, you might not know how incredibly empowering it is. But it’s not just about going to the range and firing off a few rounds of your friend’s or partner’s weapon. Learning how to shoot accurately and effectively is key to your empowerment.
First, it’s surprisingly satisfying to hit your target and place your rounds where you want them. It takes time, practice, and dedication to become proficient with a firearm. It’s much more complicated than it looks on TV.
Second, carrying a firearm and knowing you’ll be able to use it to defend yourself and others is a huge boost of confidence. 2022 isn’t over yet and we’ve already had over 300 mass shootings this year in the US. These can be prevented or stopped by someone carrying a weapon who knows how to use it.
Additionally, women shooting guns inspire other women to learn how to shoot. If you talk to your friends and family about it, you can encourage them to do the same. Some women even use guns for gender reveal announcements.
Some women look at the benefits of learning how to shoot in terms of connecting with their partners. If you’re married to or dating a man, it’s likely that they enjoy hunting. You can improve your relationship by learning how to hunt with him.
Not only can you spend time doing something he loves, but you can also have a positive experience in the process. Hunting is a vital skill that’s lost to most people. Not long ago, people depended on hunting for survival.
Grocery stores have made hunting unnecessary to some degree, but it’s still an important skill to have. Furthermore, hunting is a healthy and invigorating hobby. Tagging an animal and using it to feed your family brings you closer to nature and a more ancient way of living.
5. Target Shooting
Learning how to shoot is paramount for self-defense, home defense, and hunting. However, it doesn’t always have to be so serious. Target shooting by itself is a load of fun. It will also help you improve your skill as a hunter or in a self-defense scenario.
For women wanting to learn how to shoot and become more familiar with guns, there’s no better way to spend an afternoon than down at the gun range. You can even do group booking to reserve enough space for you and all of your friends.
This is a great way to share what you’ve learned with other women so that they too can become empowered. You could inspire them to take a course and invest in a concealed carry license, which could someday save their life.
6. Standing Up for Your Rights
Finally, if you’re wondering “Should women shoot guns?” consider your fundamental rights as an American. The Second Amendment gives citizens in the US the right to bear arms.
While men have always jumped on this opportunity, as more women exercise this right, the more protected it will become. As noted earlier, the number of firearms owned by women is steadily growing. As it continues to grow, the right to bear arms will become less contentious.
Learning how to shoot and making the decision to own a gun (or guns) is a step in the right direction for all Americans. There will always be people who seek to do harm and they will carry on with their plans whether guns are illegal or not. If the only people who don’t have guns are upstanding citizens, where does that leave us?
Learning How to Shoot Responsibly
If you’re going to own, carry, and use a gun, learning how to shoot responsibly is essential. This means always adhering to the basic gun safety rules. They are as follows:
- Assume every firearm is loaded until you have safely verified otherwise
- Never point a firearm at anything you don’t intend to shoot
- Keep your firearm on safe until you’re ready to fire (provided it has a safety)
- Keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot
- Be sure of your target and what lies behind it
To maximize your safety and the safety of others, we highly recommend taking a firearm class for the type of weapon you own or intend to buy. Then, spend time getting to know your weapon. The more familiar you are with your firearm, the more proficient you’ll be with it.
This means practicing:
- Chambering a round
- Clearing the chamber
- Clearing jams
- Using the safety
- Assembling and disassembling the firearm
- Cleaning the firearm
- Drawing and aiming
- And more
We recommend using dummy rounds so you can practice these exercises safely. However, it’s also important to spend a lot of time at the range with live ammunition.
You need to know how the weapon feels being fired. Just as importantly, you need to learn how to shoot accurately.
Do You Know How to Shoot Guns?
As you can see, there are a lot of good reasons for women to learn how to shoot guns of all kinds. Whether you’re looking for self-defense or home protection, a firearm could save your life. And remember, guns can also be used for hobbies, like hunting, target shooting, and competition shooting.
For more shooting tips, gun advice, and other related topics, look through some of our other articles. And if you’re ready to hit the range, we’re here for you. Contact us today to find out more about our range hours.
Contact Aaron Kelly – 603-903-7788
103 Main Street
Wilton, New Hampshire 03086